I’m not sure how relevant this part will be to Express Entry applications because the EE process is different from the one I went through. But I do want to talk about the first part of preparation for filing my application to Canada – the funds.
In order to apply to migrate, one must show proof of funds. This isn’t just your show money. It’s what you actually need to survive in Canada while you’re looking for a job or getting settled in. It differs every year and the best place to check how much you need is http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/funds.asp.
My friends will attest to how I’m always the one they need to treat out, that I’m always the one on a tight budget, for one reason or another. So to be able to have that kind of amount, would truly be a miracle for me, and to be able to raise it in that amount of time.
I would outline my budget, day in and day out, and no matter how much I rearranged things, I just would not have enough money. I took on part time jobs, yet I knew I would still fall way short. But the good Lord impressed on James 2:17 “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
He said, “Step out in faith, do what you need to do (like taking part time jobs), and I will fill what you lack”.
One particularly anxious time, I did devotions and He reminded me of the time when He asked me to give in my lack, when I was raising support funds for my short term mission trip. I cried out to Him that I wanted to feel that kind of confidence again, to give in lack, as the widow at the temple did.
The Widow’s Offering
41 And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
Then, while I was praying for friends who were going on a short term mission, He impressed that I support the mission trip of one friend. Not just a percentage, but the whole trip.
I thought it was a mistake, because He obviously knew that I was still way below my targeted funds. I decided that it was a mistake, went to church, and met this same friend God wanted me to support. Friend told me that there was a huge chance that he was not going to go on the mission trip because he needed to give his business and his work (he was fully employed) 100% of his attention. That meant that he could not meet with prospective partners to present the cause to them (short term missioners raise their mission fund expenses by casting the vision to others, where, in turn, those others can also be part of doing God’s work)
It suddenly became clear to me that God asking me to support this friend was not a mistake. Because if I supported this friend, he wouldn’t have to worry about presenting to people and at the same time, he could focus on his business, work and go on the mission trip. Yet, I disobeyed (delayed obedience is still disobedience) and thought to myself, “I’ll pray about it a little bit more because I might have heard wrong”.
But, later on, He reminded me so clearly that I could not concentrate on what I was doing (driving) and I had this intense urge to make the commitment. So I texted my friend right then and there to tell him what God had told me to do.
It was one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do. I needed that money so much, but I also knew better than to disobey the Lord. And I loved that feeling of hearing so clearly from God and knowing that He is control.
At the time, I had heard from someone that when you give in faith, God gives it back tenfold. I can’t find “tenfold” in the Bible (all that there is is hundredfold, thirtyfold) but at the end of my deadline for the funds, I had more than tenfold of what I gave.
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Mind you, I was practical. I took a second job, worked hard at my full time job, cut down on expenses, friends blessed me by treating me so that I wouldn’t have to spend unnecessarily, I stuck to a very strict budget. This was me being a good steward of God’s blessings. Despite all this, by my might, I was still far short of my required funds. But by deadline, He gave more than enough that I was able to purchase extra baggage allowance and enjoy my last few days with friends. I was even able to treat a few close friends as a symbol of my gratitude for all their support.
What’s my point? I didn’t write this to brag that I supported a missionary’s trip. I want to make that clear. But that part was essential in telling the whole story. What I wanted to do was glorify God. That if it is His will, then it is His bill. That He challenges us to step out in faith because He is faithful. And His miracles become testimonies that encourage and edify others. And I wanted to encourage others that nothing is impossible with the Lord. That when you walk with Him and strive to hear His voice all the time, He will bless you and protect you.
There was NO WAY I could’ve met the fund requirements on my own. ABSOLUTELY no way, especially in that short time span. It was all Him. Because His promise to me was:
The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
Other things I learned was that to always choose to be generous, that you can never out give God. Make it a priority to try and partner His cause, to support someone doing God’s work.
This said, at the same time, try to also bless people who aren’t doing God’s work yet. Bless people who aren’t Christians so that they get to experience God’s grace and faithfulness.
Lastly, that when He wills for you to be somewhere, and you obey, there’s no stopping you, Him and His plans. Mountains will be moved, doors will remain propped open.
More on His faithfulness to my Canada migration in the next blog. Maybe my next topic will be Max. 🙂